Judge of the Oktyabrsky District Court of Krasnodar Igor Chaban declared dismissal of the criminal case on tortures of four residents of Anapa at the police department in December 2015 to be legal. As we have previously reported, this case was initiated two years after the incident and eleven refusals to open a criminal case. Since the start of investigation, no suspect appeared in the case, the investigators illegally dismissed it four times and illegally suspended it four more times. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will be appealing against this court ruling.
As we have previously reported, in May 2017, Artem Ponomarchuk, Aram Arustamyan, Karen and Erik Engoyan, citizens from Anapa, applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. The men reported that they were apprehended at various time in the period from 24-25 December 2015 – allegedly, all four of them refused to show their IDs. Later on, the protocols on administrative violation were drawn up with regard to all the apprehended persons, and on 26 December judge of the Anapa City Court Elena Kravtsova convicted everyone to 12 days of administrative arrest.
– Right after I was delivered to the police department the battery started, and then they started to apply electricity to my hands, and when I refused to confess of armed assault they put a stick in my rectum, – Artem Ponomarchuk describes.
Karen Engoyan tells about similar tortures: “The police officers handcuffed me, put me face down on the floor, put on the gas mask on me, periodically blocking the air access. They beat me at my heels, applied electric contacts to my hands, feet, buttocks, demanding that I confessed of armed assault. When I fainted, they dripped some liquid in my gas mask which made me regain consciousness. The police officers threatened me with a sexual violence with the use of an object looking like a stick. After that I yielded and signed the confession”.
Aram Arustamyan and Erik Engoyan provided similar explanations. As a result, all the apprehended persons confessed of armed assault.
Local forensic expert Emanuil Kopp registered various bodily injuries on all the four apprehended, including injuries on the bodies of Karen Engoyan and Artem Ponomarchuk, “which possibly became the result of the electricity impact”.
The Investigative Committee, the authority of which involves investigation of criminal cases with regard to the police officers, had not opened the criminal case based on the fact of torture for almost two years. Only in November 2017, after the victims’ relatives together with lawyers with the Committee Against Torture had a personal appointment with a Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Boris Karnaukhov, and complained against the red tape of local investigators, the criminal case was opened.
During investigation, not a single suspect appeared in the case, and the work of the investigators since the start of the tortures complaints’ check has been repeatedly declared ineffective by the Prosecutor’s Office and the superior instances of the Investigative Committee.
Since November 2017 till the present time, the investigators illegally dismissed this case four times and four more times illegally suspended it. On 20 July 2020, investigator Philipp Shevrikuko dismissed the investigation of this case for the fifth time due to absence of the criminal event.
Having familiarized with the materials of the criminal case, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of the victims, applied to court with a complaint against its dismissal.
On 18 May 2021, the court dismissed the complaint, having considered the investigator’s ruling to be legal and grounded. Today, human rights defenders received a copy of this court ruling.
“During the whole period of investigation, the investigators have not performed all the necessary investigative activities, for example, they failed to establish and question all the witnesses, have not additionally question the paramedic who suddenly changed her evidence, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Roman Veretennikov comments. – That is why we shall be appealing against this court ruling and insist on resuming the investigation of the torture case”.